Showing posts from January 9, 2015

Rate your best scene for Riverview

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[You only have one more week if you want to add your two-bits worth to the public input on the future of the Riverview Hospital site. Click here to assign your priorities to the proposed scenarios. *RON*]

by Janis Warren - The Tri-City News, 8 January 2015
The deadline is nearing to have your say on the visual ideas for the future of Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam.

BC Housing, the agency charged by the provincial government to conduct the visioning of the 103-year-old site, has set Friday, Jan. 16 as the cut-off date for feedback on the illustrations.

BC Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay said the 47 renderings produced by architect Stanley King and his fellow co-design drawers — with the help of stakeholders and local citizens — have generated some 3,000 ratings to date.

Online participants were asked to pick their favourite concepts for the 244 acres, based on themes. And not surprisingly, mental wellness tops the votes, Ramsay said.

Still, other trends h…

2015 to shape new liquefied natural gas industry, according to BC government

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[I'm glad the Liberals made this statement simply so we have it pinned down for posterity as a posting. You must always love their baffle-gab. Natural gas is described as providing "billions of dollars in revenue - more than $15 billion over the last 10 years. This revenue supports vital programs and services for British Columbia." By this they means billions for the natural gas industry, which translates into some minuscule amount of tax dollars to support programs and services. For these new projects the multinationals have wrung such concessions from us that we will probably end up owing them money for the privilege of them taking away our natural gas. In terms of employment, natural gas provides only one-tenth of the employment that tourism does - tourism that is heavily dependent on maintaining our pristine natural environment. 
Vancouver Observer, 8 January 2015

Minister of Natural Gas Development Rich Coleman released a…

Canadian Employees Burning Out As Businesses Grow Without Hiring: Report

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[Yet corporations continue to demand concessions and handouts saying it is because "we are the job-creators!" *RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post, 6 January 2015

Canadian business are anticipating growth in the coming year, but few are actually planning to do any hiring, according to a new survey from recruitment agency Hays Canada.

With businesses increasingly leaning on their existing employees, evidence is mounting that workers are burning out, the survey found.

In the survey conducted in November, 70 per cent of employers said they expected business activity to increase in the coming months, but only 38 per cent said they expected to do any hiring.

Optimism among businesses in the survey “has never been higher, but these sentiments are not shared by their staff for whom sinking morale, burnout and stress-related absences have spiked,” Hays Canada said in a report issued Tuesday.

Thirty-one per cent of businesses reported that stress…

'Canada Is In Serious Trouble' As Debt, House Prices Climb, Deutsche Bank Declares

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[It seems that Canadian housing is at least 30% overvalued, with some slight provision to be made for the fact that it may have been somewhat under-valued prior to the recession and housing bubble. However, the personal debt-to-income ratios are worrisome, since it implies that Canadians as a group are in a very tenuous economic position and unlikely to be able to successfully weather any significant sort of economic shock. The article fails to mention that widening income inequality only makes this worse for the 99%. See also Canada Housing Market Is 63% Overvalued: Deutsche Bank*RON*]
By Daniel Tencer, Huffington Post Canada, 8 January 2015

It was little more than a year ago that Deutsche Bank declared Canada’s housing market to be the most overvalued in the world, and on Thursday the German-based bank doubled down on its bearish assessment of Canada.

Residential real estate in Canada is overvalued by 63 per cent, according to research from …

CN Rail, CP Rail Fined Total Of $150,000 For Not Carrying Enough Grain

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[This is about railway companies turning down orders to transport grain because there is more money to be made transporting oil. This looks bad, so the Feds instituted fines. However, the Harper government fines are low enough that this is not a meaningful deterrent. So it basically amounts to Harper going along with the idea with a wink and a nudge but, like some mafiosa, also demanding a piece of the action. *RON*]
By The Canadian Press / Huffington Post, 8 January 2015

MONTREAL - Canada's two largest railways have been fined a total of $150,000 for failing to transport the minimum required grain volumes last year, Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said Thursday.

Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR) will pay $100,000 for violations under the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act related to shipments for the weeks of July 28 and Sept. 7. Canadian Pacific Railway (TSX:CP) has been assessed a $50,000 penalty for the week of Sept. 7.

Transport Canada sai…

Hello 2015, Goodbye Austerity?

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[Points out, among other things "the widely ignored fact that -- despite endless German bellyaching about the so-called EU drain on its wealth -- Germany's contribution to other members of the European Union has been exactly zero euros." Ideas abound for alternatives to austerity. *RON*]
Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Levy Economics Institute, Huffington Post, 8 January 2015

Greece is facing front, looking towards the new year and the upcoming January elections. But it would be foolish not to learn from a look backwards, as well.

At the Athens economics conference, Europe At The Crossroads, the participants were a diverse collection of policymakers, overflowing with disagreements on the very best route to growth. Nonetheless, with one notable exception (the leader of Ireland's central bank, endorsing European Central Bank policy), the overwhelming majority united on a single principle:

The bailout and its related austerity programs have…